On the eve of the holiest day of the year for the Catholic Church, a vandal defaced a statue at St. Catherine's Catholic Church. The Virgin Mary statue was spray-painted black, with a symbol at the bottom.
Workers spent all day using a sandblaster and power washer trying to remove the spray paint before Mass at 7:30 p.m.
Members of the church say there are no security cameras nearby, so they have no idea who painted the statue. It happened sometime in the overnight hours with a clergy member finding it upon arrival in the morning.
Churchgoers say the clergy are working with police to determine if the symbol is gang-related, satanic, or just crude, and while they say this vandalism will not shake their celebration of Easter, it is unfortunate.
People who live nearby are disturbed.
"It's upsetting it's close to Easter, it's the holiest time of the year for the Catholic Church and it's just upsetting for the community,” Correena Keil said.
The church is asking its members to pray for whoever did this, that they will come to see and regret their wrongdoing.
Church officials say they are working with a specialist to restore the statue. Donations can be made and specifically to help cover the cost of the repairs.
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